For the first time in its 18-year history, Crime Alert Berks County has a new leader.
Rick Periandi was elected Tuesday to serve as president of Pennsylvania's leading Crime Stoppers program. Crime Alert's volunteer board of directors made the unanimous move at its annual reorganization meeting.
Periandi replaces the retiring Barry Rohrbach, who had served as Crime Alert's president since he founded the nonprofit group in 1998.
Rohrbach presented Periandi with an engraved gavel, and Periandi's first action as Crime Alert's new president was to call for a vote on creating the position of immediate past president. That vote was also unanimous, and Rohrbach was more than happy to accept.
Periandi spent 32 years rising through the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police before retiring as the ageny's deputy commissioner of operations. He now works as a consultant for Wyomissing-based Security Guards Inc.
Rohrbach has said his decision to launch a crime tip line in Berks County was actually inspired by a speech Periandi, then the head of PSP's criminal investigations bureau, gave at a breakfast at what is now Berks Catholic High School in Reading.
Periandi will be formally introduced to the public at 9 a.m. Wednesday, during an event in the Berks County commissioners' boardroom on the 13th floor of the Berks County Services Center in downtown Reading.
Since its founding in 1998, Crime Alert has paid our nearly $450,000 in cash rewards for tips that have helped police make 641 arrests, making it the state's leading Crime Stoppers program for the past 12 years.
Anonymous tips to Crime Alert can be submitted in one of three ways -- by calling 877-373-9913, by texting 847411, starting the message with keyword alertberks, or by going to alertberks.org and securely submitting the tip online.